There are a host of benefits to training in the morning. They will not be mentioned here. Rather I am going to highlight just how awful it is to get up some mornings when it is raining, cold, and you didn’t get enough sleep. That is how it seems by the end of the week for all of us in the morning; a gym full of sore and tired people. These are the days that training with coffee makes a lot more sense, even to those who normally think that this is a foolish thing to do. Yet that is the morning ritual here, 4:50 the coffee starts being brewed on a good day, and then as people shuffle in the door they are handed a cup of happiness. It is turkish tar every day, but today I brewed it the way I like it the most. Strong to the point that you feel like you are being kicked with a brick. Somehow tired went to doing rings and working crosses. Then P glanced over and asked if I was going to row. Last day of the week to try and beat the challenge. 400m row, one minute. A lesson in self hate at the best of times.
But we did it. Or at least we got on the rowers and pulled until we couldn’t breathe. We pulled 373m and 375m respectively, still short of the 400m mark, but not by much. These are the days that having training partners, a community of smart asses to work with, and strong coffee really show their worth. I have spent most of my life training alone, but now, more and more I am finding that some days that the community is good to have. Go find some training partners, people who will ask the questions that you don’t want to hear at 5:40. Then learn to make real coffee.
How to Make Real Coffee
Pulled out of Forcing Evolution…
A few words on the topic this book is dedicated to
Now after talking about alternatives to coffee, and mentioning that way too many people are dependent on it. Lets talk about this fine drink of the gods.
There are many ways to make coffee. Now I will cede that many of these produce a fine tasting coffee, I will even go so far as to admit that depending on preference and desperation that even some forms of fast-food coffee can be swallowed. However, I personally favor three types of coffee [as a side note to those reading who believe that a latte with vanilla flavor and whip cream is coffee I will only say this once ‘You don’t like coffee.’ You like sugar milk which smells like coffee. Very different. And given most people don’t really do well with liquid calories, you should learn to drink real coffee], these include, press coffee, espresso, and turkish.
Now press coffee is rather simple, requires a way to boil water, some ground coffee, and a press. Most people figure this whole thing out pretty quick, you take the grounds, pour the boiling water on, stir the dry grounds floating on the top, wait a little while, and then press. Voila. Coffee. And really, this can make a great coffee.
Next espresso. Wonderful stuff. Taste is stronger than a normal press coffee, a bit thicker. A very small amount can be nursed slowly over a newspaper and the day is just that much better. In this case you need either a stove top espresso maker or an actual machine. The stove top is cheap, a little tricky, but makes a decent espresso. The machine can make great coffee, but will set you back a little.
Then there is of course turkish coffee.
For each cup of water, between one and two heaped teaspoons of extremely finely ground coffee is used. While much of the Arab World takes their coffee “sāda” (plain; no sugar, meaning “black” in Arabic) or “murra” ( bitter; no sugar), in Turkey, four degrees of sweetness are used. The Turkish terms and approximate amounts are as follows: sade (plain; no sugar), az şekerli (little sugar; half a level teaspoon of sugar), orta şekerli (medium sugar; one level teaspoon), and çok şekerli (a lot of sugar; one and a half or two level teaspoons).
The coffee and the desired amount of sugar are placed in a pot and then the cold water is poured on to this. This mixture is stirred into the water until all the coffee sinks and the sugar is dissolved. [Lebanese coffee starts with hot water alone, and then the grounds are added to this] Following this, the spoon is removed and the pot is put on moderate heat; if too high, the coffee comes to the boil too quickly, without time to extract the flavour. No stirring is done beyond this point, as it would dissolve the foam. Just as the coffee comes to the boil the pot is removed from the heat. It is usually kept off the heat for a short time, then brought to the boil a second and a third time, then the coffee is poured into cups. Getting the thickest possible layer of foam is considered the peak of the coffee maker’s art. One way to maximise this is to pour slowly and try to lift the pot higher and higher as the pouring continues. Regardless of these techniques, getting the same amount of foam into all cups is hard to achieve, and the cup with the most foam is considered the best of the lot.
A well-prepared Turkish coffee has a thick foam at the top (köpük in Turkish), is homogeneous, and does not contain noticeable particles in the foam or the liquid. It is possible to wait an additional twenty seconds past boiling to extract a little more flavour, but the foam is completely lost. To overcome this, foam can be removed and put into cups earlier and the rest can be left to boil. In this case special attention must be paid to transfer only the foam and not the suspended particles.
I guess there is one other option
Given that turkish coffee is an art form, here is a simple way to make what I drink most days. Road tar.
Take your press, heap in a grinder full of fresh ground beans. Add a boiling water. Stir this until the layer of coffee grounds at the top of the water mixes into the water. Let this stand for at least ten minutes. Mix it again. Let sit for a few minutes and then press. Should make a coffee that when poured will be opaque. Has a really strong rich flavor if brewed properly. Some people have noted that they have visions while drinking this concoction, and while I haven’t checked, if you have a heart condition you should probably avoid it. If you think vanilla-bean syrup should go in coffee don’t even think about trying this black.